Packed full of nutrients and flavour, try adding green juice for a refreshing, sugar-free alternative to fruit juice.
"Fresh, living juice is a powerhouse rich in vitamins, minerals, living enzymes and phytochemicals, all of which have extraordinarily healthful and beneficial effects on your body," say Jay and Linda Kordich, authors of Live Food, Live Bodies (Square One Publishers).
One of these beneficial effects might be younger looking skin, claims Suzi Grant, nutritional therapist and author of Alternative Ageing (Penguin Michael Joseph): "Juicing fresh vegetables is the very best thing your can do if you want younger cells," she says. "When you juice, you are extracting 90 per cent of those anti-ageing nutrients and taking them straight into every cell of your body. Regularly drinking juice helps your liver detox, which will help you look younger as well as feel more energised."
Green juices, in particular, are highly potent because they have highly concentrated nutrients, explain Jay and Linda: "[They] are a high source of chlorophyll which metabolises oxygen in the bloodstream, purifying it and at the same time cleansing the kidneys, liver and urinary tract. Green juices also stimulate the peristaltic wave in the intestines and move the bowels."
Despite the glowing reviews, green juice can seem a little intense for your taste buds at first, but buying fresh, good quality produce and experimenting with flavour can make green juice one of the easiest and tastiest ways to enjoy increased health & vitality.
Here are the top 5 tips to help you get you get your green on:
Keep it green!
With concerns about the effects of fruit juice on blood sugar levels, juicing greens and vegetables is a great way to avoid peaks in blood sugar, provided you keep to the 80:20 rule; fruit, carrots and beetroot should not make up more than 20% of the juice.
Every one of your juices should be 80% or more green.
Keep it fresh!
- Buy fresh; wash your fresh produce in a biodegradable soap using a vegetable brush, making sure to scrub the surfaces thoroughly, and rinse them well before use.
- Buy local if you can. Local produce may also be pesticide-free and sustainable; just ask the farmer or vendor.
Juicer or Blender?
There are two main methods of juicing. The most obvious one is a juicer, however you can also make excellent juices with the help of a blender and a nut mylk bag.
Method: In your blender, liquidise or puree your greens and vegetables, then squeeze them through a nut milk bag* to separate the liquid from the fibre.
* You can purchase a nut milk bag online, just Google 'nut mylk bag'.
Green juice tastes delicious, but for some this taste may be too "green" at first; you can add extra ingredients for flavor, as well as other health benefits:
- Sweeten it up- Provided that you're in a normal blood sugar physiology, add fruit to sweeten and increase your calories (especially good for athletes or generally very active):
- Lemons and limes cut the bitterness of the greens.
- 1 apple transforms green juice.
- Carrot and beetroot make excellent sweeteners.
- Add a kick with herbs - Juice basil, oregano, peppermint, spearmint, or any fresh, green herbs for fabulous flavour.
- Flavour with celery - Celery waters juice down and gives it a salty flavor, is said to be four times as hydrating as water, and a great source of organic sodium and other minerals.
- Spice it up - Add your favourite spices; try ground cinnamon or fresh ginger for outstanding flavour.
And last but not least, have fun! Play with the flavours and enjoy creating new combinations.
They are best drunk on an empty stomach to maximise your body's absorption of the nutrients.
Whether you add one a day as soon as you wake up, as a mid-afternoon snack, or as a light, late feast when eating a meal seems too much, you'll love this fresh, healthy alternative to sugary fruit juice.